Date: 21 August 2009
Thought for the day
“Don’t let the mistakes and disappointments of the past control and direct your future.”
— Zig Ziglar
1)IN a move to help Indians in distress abroad, the government on Thursday decided to set up a special fund in 18 missions to meet emergency expenses on providing food, shelter, legal aid and other welfare activities for them. Indian Express
2)INFLATION as measured by the whole sale price index(WPI) extended its longest decline in thirty three years as annual inflation for the week ended August 8 clocked -1.53% as compared to -1.74% in the week before. Economists and policy makers are of opinion that the fall in inflation has bottomed out and the deficient monsoons will push up the food prices.
3)THE finance minister has put his seal of approval on a proposal which could willy-nilly lead to disinvestment in a number of India’s biggest listed public sector companies starting as early as April 2010. Pranab Mukherjee has okayed a plan which will make it compulsory for at least a quarter of the shares in all listed companies to be owned by the public, including investment and financial institutions. Government-owned and private companies in which the founders own more than three-fourths of the shares will be required to increase the public float by 5% annually until at least 25% of the shareholding is in the hands of the public.
CORPORATE / INDUSTRY
4)Sundram Fasteners Ltd will soon enter the non-automobile segment even while laying thrust on expanding its product portfolio in the auto component business. SFL has been shortlisted by a few players in the aerospace industry, including Airbus Industrie and GE for supplying fasteners.
MONEY & BANKING
5)The rupee was strong against the dollar on Thursday tracking the positive Asian equity indices and the domestic equity index. But persistent dollar buying by importers pulled the rupee down from the day’s highs. The rupee opened higher at 47.78 and touched a high of 48.61. Higher crude price saw importers buying dollars in significant amounts, which pushed the rupee down towards 48.71 by end of trade. The closing level was still higher by 9 paise from Tuesday’s close of 48.80.
6)RETAIL investors could see a 180-basis point rise in their unit linked insurance plan(Ulip) yields, with the insurance regulator Irda tweaking the proposed cap on charges which insurers collect from investors. The regulator is also set to raise the lock-in period for investments in Ulips to 5 years from 3 years to promote long-term investments, said a senior Irda official. Ulips are akin to mutual funds with an added life cover.
7)The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority(Irda) has withdrawn mortality charges from the overall cap on the charges levied by unit-linked insurance plans. The regulator also asked life insurers not to levy any charge on customers if they surrender their policies from the fifth year – a move that will put more money in the hands of the investor. While the move will benefit people who wish to take higher life cover in case of Ulips, it could give insurance companies the leeway to increase administration charges.
8)INSURANCE agents will have to disclose the commission they get from insurance companies for selling various policies to the consumers, a member in the high-level panel of financial regulators said. Agents get their commissions from the premium paid by policy holders often without their knowledge. The panel comprises officials from RBI, Irda, Sebi and the finance ministry. The move is expected to reduce the extent of brokers wooing clients away from customer friendly products to those yielding more commission.
9)Kotak Mahindra Old Mutual Life Insurance Ltd has announced the launch of its ‘Kotak Single Invest’ plan, a hassle-free unit linked plan wherein a single premium enables the policyholder to reap the benefits of insurance and investment throughout the policy term.
10)A sharp recovery by over 4.5% in the Chinese Shanghai Composite Index on Thursday buoyed sentiments throughout the Asian equity markets. The 30-share Sensex of the Bombay Stock Exchange(BSE) surged higher by 202.68 points or 1.37% to close the day at 15,012.32 points. Similarly, the broader 50-share Nifty of the National Stock Exchange(NSE) ended the trading session gaining 59.35 points or 1.35% at 4,453.45 points.
11)Non-banking finance arms leading brokerages are seeking to raise short-term funds amounting to around Rs 6,000 crore to finance subscription of IPOs by investors.
12)THE Centre and stock market regulator Sebi have asked states to altogether exempt or rationalise the stamp duty on financial transactions executed in electronic mode, a move that could bring down the transaction costs on the various electronic exchanges in India.
13)As many as 700 companies are waiting to tap the primary market, indicating a revival of corporate interest in this segment, according to Mr Prithvi Haldea, chairman and managing director of Prime Database.
14)Sajjan Jindal-led JSW Energy is looking to come out with its initial public offering in the next two months to raise about Rs 3,000 crore for partly funding its expansion plans.
15)IN a notification aimed at fine-tuning the fund-raising process of companies, market regulator Sebi on Thursday has asked companies to utilise the proceeds from rights issue only after allotment to shareholders. The regulator has also trimmed the period of a rights issue to 15 days from the current 42 days while extending the application supported by blocked amount (ASBA) facility to rights issues.
16)Copper is expected to hit $6,500 a tonne soon and $7,500 a tonne next year and may continue the upward move until 2012, said the London-based leading research firm Gold Field Mineral Services (GFMS). Copper has been at the fore-front of the rally in base metals. The cash quote has more than doubled from the low of $3,051 a tonne to a recent high of $6,419 a tonne. Although prices have slipped 5 per cent since this peak on profit booking, a recovery looms, said the report. Strong Chinese consumption coupled with expectations of a recovery outside the country late in the year are expected to strengthen demand marginally in 2009 as also lower production. As a result, the surplus projected for 2009 has been revised downwards to just 245,000 tonnes from the earlier estimate of 441,000 tonnes.
17)Gold held near $945 an ounce in Europe on Thursday, up a touch from the previous session as the dollar’s retreat from early highs against a basket of currencies boosted interest in the metal as an alternative asset. Spot gold was bid at $943.60 an ounce at 1045 GMT, against $941.55 an ounce late in New York on Wednesday.
18)INDIA’S largest real estate developer DLF has won the bid to acquire 350-acre land parcel in Gurgaon for Rs 1,703 crore in the first major land deal in one and half years. The Haryana government has issued a letter of acceptance of bid to DLF marking the closure of the land deal, a senior official said.
19)DELHI-BASED realty firm TDI is planning to invest Rs 1,000-crore to build lower-priced homes in the national capital region in the next three years, a senior company executive said. “The demand for homes is coming back slowly,” said TDI managing director Kamal Taneja, adding that the company was focusing on lower price homes to attract buyers. TDI, which has its real estate projects spread over Delhi, Kundli and Panipat in Haryana and Mohali in Punjab, recently launched 350 residential units in Kundli and claims to have sold all of it in just a month. The company is now planning to launch another 350 homes over the weekend in Kundli, around 35 kms from central Delhi.
20)Realty player Omaxe on Thursday said it has received approval from the Mathura Vrindavan Development Authority, Uttar Pradesh, for the construction of township with an investment of Rs 250 crore.
21)BHARTI Airtel and MTN on Thursday announced they had extended their exclusive merger talks for the second time until September 30, indicating that both were yet to thrash out several key issues especially the demand from the South African firm’s minority share- holders to sweeten the deal terms.
22)MID-SIZED software services firm MindTree, which completed 10 years on Tuesday, will come up with newer strategies as it aims to achieve over $1 billion in revenues by March 2014. The company, which counts steel-maker Arcelor Mittal and Swedish truck-maker Volvo among its top customers, will be focussing on areas like energy, defence and healthcare. The firm is also targeting newer geographies like Japan.
23)IT SOLUTIONS provider SoftPro, which had recently acquired the entire stake in South America-based Cura Software, is hoping to garner about $150m in combined revenues in the next five years. To back the growth plans, the company is planning to hire about 100 employees for its new R&D division to be set up in Hyderabad.
24)Oil prices eased towards $72 a barrel on Thursday, after rising more than 4 per cent in the previous session, as optimism faded about the pace of demand recovery in the world’s top consumer on the United States.
25)Switzerland sold its stake in its largest bank, UBS, at the top end of its price range, a source said on Thursday, making a profit from last year’s rescue deal. The sale of the 9 per cent stake comes a day after Switzerland agreed to reveal the names of thousands of UBS’s rich American clients to Washington, settling a tax-avoidance dispute that dented its prized banking secrecy. The US warned it was now setting its sights on other institutions and individuals involved in hiding assets from the taxman. Swiss authorities said the sale showed UBS had found a solid footing again after becoming one of the biggest victims in the credit crisis, and the markets reacted positively by pushing up its shares.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE BROWSE THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES.
Karvy Consultants Ltd www.karvy.com
KARVY Global Services Ltd www.KARVYGlobal.com
KARVY Realty (India) Limited www.karvyrealty.com
Economic Times www.economictimes.com
The Financial Express www.financialexpress.com
Business Line www.businessline.in
Business Standard www.business-standard.com
The Times of India www.timesofindia.com
The Hindu www.hindu.com
Deccan Chronicle www.deccan.com
The New Indian Express www.newindpress.com